Black Bear

Black Bear
"Chocolate" Black Bear, photo by Shari Brewer 

In Springtime the bears begin to awaken from a Winter of  hibernation and the one thing on their mind will be eating.  During hibernation a bear can loose up half of their body weight.  Bears hunt for small mammals, however they are omnivorous having a mixed diet and will follow the seasonal availability such as insects and roots in early Spring, later in the season seeds, nuts and berries as they ripen.  In the Fall you will see them down at the rivers fishing for the spawned out salmon where they will gain back a lot of their body fat.

Males can weigh around  125 to 550 pounds and a female can weigh around 90 to 350 pounds.  The average age that a black bear will mate is to 3 to 7 years and the mating usually occurs around May to July.  Even though a female is impregnated the fertile egg will not move to the uterus until near time to hibernation.  If the mother was able to get plenty of food before hibernation the fetus will be carried to full term and will give birth to an average of 2 cubs only weighing 1/2 to 1 pound around January to February.  The Black Bear is not always black in color can range from chocolate, cinnamon, blond and sometimes even white.  Bears will smell and hear you before they see you and although they may look like slow creatures, they can run up to 35 mph for shorter distances, and they would rather run away.  The best way to view bears is from a distance with a telephoto lens or binoculars and allow them their passion of eating and raising their young.